What Is a Casino?

A casino, also known as a gambling house, is an establishment where certain types of gambling are permitted. Casinos usually offer a wide variety of games, including poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, and slot machines. They also often feature entertainment venues and restaurants. Casinos can be located in the United States and internationally.

Despite their flashing lights, free drinks and stage shows, casinos are essentially engineered to slowly bleed patrons of their hard earned money. The average game has a built in advantage for the casino, which can be as small as two percent, but over time this slight edge can generate enough revenue to fund lavish hotel towers, fountains, pyramids and replicas of world famous landmarks.

To keep patrons from winning too much, casinos have a number of security measures. Dealers watch each game carefully, watching for blatant cheating, palming and marking. They are also trained to spot suspicious betting patterns, which can signal a player is colluding with other players. Elaborate surveillance systems provide a high-tech “eye in the sky” that can watch every table, window and doorway.

To keep gamblers coming back, casinos offer a number of perks, called comps. These can include discounted travel packages, cheap buffets and free show tickets. Casinos also reward frequent players with free rooms, meals and beverages. If you are a high roller, the casino may even provide airfare, luxury suites and limo service.